I woke up Thanksgiving morning and as I lay in bed thinking about how much I have to be grateful for, I surprised myself by noticing that many of the things that I was grateful for were “unwanted” things…
Perhaps that sounds irrational, but as I looked back over the past year, I found that it was the challenging and uncomfortable experiences that most often brought growth, understanding and more clarity in my life!
I have noticed that we are essentially motivated by ‘Avoiding Pain’ or ‘Increasing Joy’. And, I recognize how often I try and avoid pain – avoiding things that are uncomfortable, such as confronting someone and speaking my truth, or choosing the familiar instead of the something unknown. Perhaps this is why I got so much more from the “unwanted” things that happened.
“Unwanted” things will sometimes force us to make a shift – in behavior or perspective…
For example, when I came down with the mumps last January, I had to cancel classes and other commitments that I had scheduled, and I felt great freedom and ease – I realized that I had fallen into a habit of over-committing myself.
When I am stuck in traffic and late for an appointment, I am given an opportunity to notice my reaction – being frustrated, stressed and angry, OR, I have an opportunity to surrender to what I can’t change and focus on something pleasant such as playing music I like or listening to an Abraham-Hicks recording. The “unwanted” traffic stress is a gift – to take charge of my perspective and be more peaceful within.
Or even when I was hurt – unjustly accused of something I didn’t do. The gift in this was to accept that unfair things happen and allow myself to feel the hurt, and then recognize that it is my own opinion of myself that is important, not how someone else views me!
These are just examples, there are many more. I hope that from this awareness I will be more open and willing to embrace ALL experiences in my life as valuable – and find the gifts that are there for me every day!
I’d love to hear about any of the gifts you have found from some of your “unwanted” things – and also your comments and questions…